Posts Tagged ‘results’
Friday March 13th, 2009
This is an endless debate. Depending on the forum or article you get “Salon products use better quality ingredients!” or “Drug store brands are owned by the the professional companies and use the same formulas!” or my favorite people, “I’ve used soap/dish detergent/carpet cleaner on my scalp for years and have gorgeous hair!”…or something to that effect.
Reading all this I realized it ultimately comes down to the individual. If you can get a look you are happy with and only have to spend $2 or dunk your head in water once a week, more power to you. You are lucky. Stop reading here.
So let me share with you the interesting facts I learned whilst surfing through the interwebs regarding the showdown: Drug Store versus Salon products.
- Where does the company spend their money? Drug store brands spend millions on marketing, and packaging, and celebrities (cause we all know Heather Locklear uses box hair dye.) Yet the product costs next to nothing. How much are they investing in research and quality ingredients? Salon brands put money back into the product. People will not re-buy a $30 shampoo if they don’t see results. They have to deliver.
- Hair is made of keratin protein and is dead as soon as it leaves the folicle. So to bulk up fine hair or repair damaged, the products need to contain protein that can be absorbed by the shaft. Because it’s dead, it’s near impossible to “repair” split ends. The hair won’t magically stitch itself back together. You can however smooth them with products. Most drug store brands use smells or promises of herbal ingredients to hook you. Scent does not improve the condition of your hair.
- pH affects tangles! If the pH balance of a product is off, the cuticles on the shaft will stick up and get caught on each other. This causes more knots and tangles. A pH balanced shampoo and conditioner will smooth them down, letting the hairs glide over each other. Knot free!
- Certain Drug Store brands are known by dermatologists to worsen acne and break outs. Don’t want to slander anyone, but they have orgasmic commercials. For some people switching to another brand will almost instantly get rid of pimples along the hairline and on the forehead. This came up in a lot of different forums, so it’s annecdotal which causes me to be skeptical. But it was frequent enough that I decided to include it.
- When salon brands are available in drug stores…confusing! These are called diversions. A distributer somewhere has done something naughty. You have no way of knowing how old the product is and as a result it may not be as effective, it could be discontinued or even tampered with or counterfeit. Either way, salon brands ONLY guarantee the product when bought in a salon.
- Drug Store and Salon product ingredients lists will often be exactly the same. However this can be misleading. Unless you have an advanced degree in chemistry and can see the complete formulations there is no way to know if they are in fact the same product. In different concentrations and how they’re mixed, ingredients can react and preform in different manners. Quality of ingredient is also a factor.
- Lather has nothing to do with how clean your hair will get. At all. In fact it’s worse for it. But it does make for sexier commercials. The cheaper and more irritating the detergent/surfactant it is, the more it will lather. So drug store ones will get all kinds of bubbly and big but strip the hair of too much oil, drying it out and irritating the scalp. Shampoos that use more quality surfactants will lather significantly less but dissolve the grimy dirt, product and excess oil. Ingredients to watch for!
- Sodium Laurel Sulfate: This is the most common, cheapest and most irritating. When combined with Cocoamidopropyl Betaine it is less irritating.
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate: The slightly less irritating cousin of the above. While it is gentler it is not without controversy. Some claim it absorbs into the skin. At this time it has still been deemed safe to use in cosmetics.
- Cocoamidopropyl Betaine: Made from cocnut oil and petrochemicals, this is a medium strength surfactant and used to give a thicker texture to the product. It isn’t as irritating but is listed as an allergen and has been known to cause contact dermatitis in a small percentage of people.
- Ammonium Laurel Sulfate: The harshest of all this strips oils and color from the hair.
Even knowing this information, it still comes down to individual products and the results you see. People with normal, naturally healthy hair (genetic lottery) can usually use anything and achieve the same result.
Those with any specific issue may need to start focusing on higher end lines to start seeing actual results.It may take a bit until they find the product that works for their hair. It’s always made more sense to me to spend a tiny bit more for a product that will last longer and actually give me results. With most drugstore, yes it’s cheaper, but you buy more frequently and usually see no difference. Does that make sense?
Be an informed consumer and critical of your products. Don’t just keep using something because you always have. Does it fix the issue? Or does it just smell really nice?
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